My suggestion for a future game club game is Ishar. This is the first game in a trilogy of first person dungeon crawlers.
I remember looking at screenshots, marveling at the, for the time, stunning graphics and reading about the first game in a Swedish Magazine called “Highscore” back in the day. The game was available on both DOS and Amiga and I really wanted an Amiga 500 so I could play it. I was never able to get an Amiga at the time unfortunately so these games remain in my list of “games from my childhood that I never played”.
Seeing that they are available to buy on GOG makes me want to finally play the games, and experience what I was not able to when I was younger.
I’d like to try these again too. I remember that playing them was quite a pain due to the fact that your party members could hate each other. You went to sleep in a tavern just to wake up to one of your party members murdering another one and leaving with all your gold.
The trick I used was to roll the party, and then try to heal the members between each other. If somebody refused, they were ousted.
I remember also that stamina was super annoying (especially in the third one when you get to the cold realm).
In the end I was never able to finish them, mostly due to frustration. But I guess with a walkthrough, or at least maps, it should be doable.
Yeah, I have read that they are supposed to be quite a hurdle to play because of their design. Especially the first game with saving the game costing money.
Then again, I think, with the right mind going in, it could be part of the charm and challenge.
I do think they still look quite nice, with lovely pixel art going by the screenshots.
Ishar for me has the alluring quality that several Silmarils games do, it’s that it feels like a real, living world, like the game is deeper than it actually is. Metal Mutant and Starblade also felt that way. It may just be skin-deep, because of the nice graphics and realistic ambient sound, and possibly also the language barrier.
Unfortunately, Ishar also shares the curse of other Silmarils games. They’re obscure, hard to make sense of, player-unfriendly. I never got very far in Ishar, so this is just from reading the walkthrough – there were steps that were important, but also non-obvious.
In general, I got the feeling that the game doesn’t tell you many things you will need to know in order to progress. It might still be worth trying, especially if you don’t mind looking up stuff when stuck.
One thing the game doesn’t tell you is what the spells do. I suppose this is somewhere in the manual but back in the day I didn’t have it. (as most games, I got it when it was a freebie on a CD of a game magazine)
There were some cool hacks though. Hunting robbers in the town of Ishar 3 so you can get the good weapons from the start. Saving/Loading after missing with the Lava Axe because it was so slow…